China's Checkbook Diplomacy in India

A new study shows that China is now India's top trading partner, edging out the United Arab Emirates—India’s previous top trading partner—and is comfortably ahead of the US and Saudi Arabia. India-China annual trade volume now adds up to about $70 billion, and India is running a massive $40 billion trade deficit with China. China exports high-value, high-tech machines to India while India exports low-value commodities to China.

Chinese Infrastructure Loans to India:

 China's state-owned banks are financing huge infrastructure projects in Africa and India to boost Chinese exports. Leading the effort are China's ExIm Bank, China Development Bank and China Industrial Commercial Bank. Major multi-billion dollar projects being signed by Chinese President Xi Jineng, currently visiting India, and Prime Minister Modi will be financed by loans from one or more of the state-owned Chinese banks.




Chinese Infrastructure Project Financing in Pakistan: 

China is also pursuing strategic Pakistan-China economic corridor which includes several large infrastructure projects worth tens of billions of US dollars connecting China with the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. These projects will be financed by China's ExIm Bank and other state-owned banks.

In a report last year, China's State-owned Xinhua News Agency articulated China's motivation to expand land trade in addition to building its navy to protect its sea trade. Here's what it said:

“As a global economic power, China has a tremendous number of economic sea lanes to protect. China is justified to develop its military capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty and protect its vast interests around the world."

China's Global Superpower Ambitions: 

The Xinhua report has for the first time shed light on China's growing concerns with US pivot to Asia which could threaten China's international trade and its economic lifeline of energy and other natural resources it needs to sustain and grow its economy. This concern has been further reinforced by the following:

1. Frequent US statements to "check" China's rise.  For example, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a 2011 address to the Naval Postgraduate School in California: "We try everything we can to cooperate with these rising powers and to work with them, but to make sure at the same time that they do not threaten stability in the world, to be able to project our power, to be able to say to the world that we continue to be a force to be reckoned with." He added that "we continue to confront rising powers in the world - China, India, Brazil, Russia, countries that we need to cooperate with. We need to hopefully work with. But in the end, we also need to make sure do not threaten the stability of the world."

Source: The Guardian


2. Chinese strategists see a long chain of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all potential controlling chokepoints that could  block Chinese sea lanes and cripple its economy, business and industry.



Karakoram Highway-World's Highest Paved International Road at 15000 ft.


Chinese Premier's emphasis on "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" is mainly driven by their paranoia about the US intentions to "check China's rise" It is intended to establish greater maritime presence at Gwadar, located close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and  to build land routes (motorways, rail links, pipelines)  from the Persian Gulf through Pakistan to Western China. This is China's insurance to continue trade with West Asia and the Middle East in case of hostilities with the United States and its allies in Asia.

Pakistan's Gawadar Port- located 400 Km from the Strait of Hormuz


As to the benefits for Pakistanis, expanded trade and the Chinese investment in "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" will help build infrastructure, stimulate Pakistan's economy and create millions of badly needed jobs.

Clearly, China-Pakistan ties have now become much more strategic than the US-Pakistan ties, particularly since 2011 because, as American Journalist Mark Mazzetti of New York Times put it, the  Obama administration's heavy handed policies "turned Pakistan against the United States". A similar view is offered by a former State Department official Vali Nasr in his book "The Dispensable Nation".

Chinese Checkbook Diplomacy: 

China is now the biggest lender to the developing world,  surpassing the World Bank set up as an institution by the West to extend its dominance after WWII. China's checkbook diplomacy is bearing fruit with its growing trade making it the biggest trading partner of a growing number of countries and regions.  As China surpasses the United States as the largest economy and its trade volume explodes, it is very likely that the RMB (Yuan), the Chinese currency, will replace the US dollar as the world's main trade and reserve currency.

Between 2001 and 2010, China’s Export-Import Bank extended $62.7 billion in loans to African nations, or $12.5 billion more than the World Bank, according to Forbes magazine. Over the same period, trade between Africa and China grew by more than 700 per cent with China replacing the U.S. as Africa’s biggest trading partner in 2009.

Summary: 

History is filled with examples of great powers using trade and exports to extend their power and influence across the world. China appears to be taking a page from their playbook in pursuit of massive trade growth through check-book diplomacy in Africa, South Asia and South America.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

Japan to Finance, Build Karachi Mass Transit System

Pak-China Economic Corridor 

Soaring Chinese Imports and Twin Deficits in India

India-Israel Military Relations

Pakistan's Military Production

BRIC, Chindia, and the "Indian Miracle"

India's "Indigenous" Weapons

Pakistan's Telecom Boom

India's Growing Defense Budget

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
From Wall Street Journal:

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan plans to sign deals worth billions of dollars with China for development of infrastructure and energy projects during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s visit to Beijing this weekend, Pakistani officials said.

Mr. Sharif is to meet the Chinese leadership on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which starts in Beijing this week. Pakistan suffers from a crippling shortage of electricity and it is looking to its close ally China for a solution.

The agreements are part of a bigger aim to establish a Pakistan-China economic corridor that will link south west China, by road and rail, to the Pakistani port of Gwadar, giving China a harbor close to the Middle East, a $35 billion program in total.

“Pakistan and China have strong relations and we’ve now decided to take this relationship to the next level of strategic economic cooperation,” Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s Planning Minister, said in an interview.

Mr. Iqbal said the Pakistani side’s focus in Beijing will be on energy, with agreements or memorandums to be signed on a series of specific power projects. He said that previously, negotiations had been over the broad framework for the proposed economic corridor.

“The Chinese have agreed to invest at a critical time, when Pakistan is really starved of energy,” said Mr. Iqbal.

Mr. Sharif will sign agreements on 14 power plants, that will provide the country with 10,400 Megawatts of new generation, said Musadiq Malik, the spokesman for the prime minister. The Chinese companies will invest in building the power stations as commercial ventures, raising their own financing, as foreign direct investment, so Pakistan won't be taking on any additional debt, Mr. Malik said.

Another official said that two of the power plant projects are sufficiently developed to begin work on the ground within the next 12 months. The plants are mostly coal-fired.

Building power stations on that scale would cost at least $10 billion, experts said. Pakistan will also need to upgrade its electricity transmission network and build facilities to import and transport the huge quantities of coal that would be required.

Pakistan’s daily electricity output is generally 13,000 MW to 15,000 MW, leaving it at least 5,000 MW short of demand. That deficit means hours of rolling supply cuts to homes and businesses every day across the country, a situation that economists estimate slashes several percentage points off national income.

Aside from China, Pakistan has struggled to attract other foreign investors to its energy sector. Pakistan’s current generation is based on oil-fired stations, which are expensive to run, and gas-power plants that are stymied by a shortage of gas in the country. Pakistan now plans to build plants that use coal, along with limited solar and wind power projects, officials said.

“We have received a signal from the Chinese that these [power] projects are ready to proceed,” Mr. Sharif told a cabinet meeting Thursday, in televised remarks. “These power stations will start to be built, but to complete them it will take about 3½ years.”

http://online.wsj.com/articles/pakistans-sharif-heading-to-beijing-to-sign-energy-infrastructure-pacts-1415293363
Riaz Haq said…
China on Saturday promised neighbouring Pakistan investment worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Pakistan, a close ally of China, suffers from chronic electricity shortages and Islamabad has long sought investment in coal-fired power stations which it sees as a solution to the problem.

Other countries have balked from such investments, sometimes on environmental grounds.

The new agreements pave the way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan, while the deals also cover the supply and mining of coal, the prime minister's press office said.

"The deals being signed between China and Pakistan are worth $42 billion. The whole investment is being made by China," said Amir Zamir, spokesman for Pakistan's ministry of planning and development.

"There is no loan or aid for the energy projects, but pure investment by the Chinese," he told AFP.

Pakistan has for decades been China's closest ally in South Asia, and Beijing is a major trading partner and key supplier of military technology to Islamabad.

Pakistan borders the far-western Chinese region of Xinjiang, which has seen a series of clashes and attacks on civilians that have left more than 200 dead in the past year.

Beijing blames some of the region's violence on an organised terrorist group it calls the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) seeking independence for the region, home to the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority.

Many analysts doubt that any large scale organisation of the kind exists, while rights groups blame the violence on what they call the repression of Uighur language and culture by Beijing.

Sharif told Xi that Pakistan would "resolutely fight the East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorist force," China's foreign ministry said in a statement following the meeting in Beijing.

"We stand behind China on all the core issues like Taiwan and Tibet to human rights, the fight against the ETIM," Sharif added within earshot of journalists.

Xi was forced to cancel a planned trip to Pakistan in September due to anti-government protests in Islamabad.

But the Chinese president visited Pakistan's arch-rival India the same month, signing a raft of deals.

Sharif acknowledged that "somehow the circumstances led to the postponement of the visit," adding to Xi: "I believe you will be visiting Pakistan very soon."
http://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-wins-china-investment-worth-42-billion-211727216--finance.html
Riaz Haq said…
BEIJING—A major textile producer in China has backed out of a high-profile deal for control of a Pakistani company. The stated reason: Banks in the Chinese company’s home province face such large loan defaults that they balked at lending the $62 million needed to complete the acquisition.

The scuttling of the deal by Shandong Ruyi Science & Technology Group Co., which has investments around the world, is a further signal that stress is mounting in China’s banking system and that the days of easy credit in the world’s second-largest economy are drawing to a close.

According to Masood Textile Mills Ltd.’s chief executive officer, Shahid Nazir, Ruyi in October pulled out of the deal to buy 52% of his company, almost nine months after committing to the acquisition.

“Shandong banks were having some serious issues on defaults,” Mr. Nazir said he was told by Ruyi, adding that the Chinese company said it wasn’t alone in having funding troubles. “Because of the general situation in Shandong…lots of companies in the province were feeling the squeeze.”

A spokesman for Ruyi couldn’t be reached, and the company’s Shenzhen-listed unit declined to comment.

Credit from China’s state-owned banking system has in the past been readily available to companies with political backing and ambitions explicitly in line with those of the central government. Ruyi has received well-publicized visits from President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and is expanding overseas, as Beijing has urged. As the economy slows, however, the vast expansion in bank loans used to help keep growth humming over the past six years is now being followed by rising defaults.

China’s financial system is opaque. Authorities have been reluctant to publicize defaults, often swooping in with bailouts at the last minute.

But nationwide, cracks are starting to appear. In the third quarter, the aggregate deposit base of China’s four biggest banks declined after years of robust growth. Since September, the central bank has pumped hundreds of billions of yuan directly into the country’s biggest financial institutions in an unconventional move to give the banks the resources to continue to support an economy that has grown dependent on borrowing.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/china-textile-maker-cancels-pakistan-acquisition-deal-as-local-banks-wont-lend-1415192513
Riaz Haq said…
The annual APEC summit is underway in Beijing. Perhaps the most notable absentee is India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received an unprecedented invitation in July from Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the gathering. Despite growing to become the world’s third largest economy in PPP terms, India is not a member of APEC, and as a result would not normally attend the summit. But this year President Xi used his platform as the summit host to extend invitations to non-members India, Pakistan, and Mongolia. While Pakistan and Mongolia’s leaders made the trip to Beijing for APEC, Prime Minister Modi decided not to do so. It’s a missed opportunity for India’s economic diplomacy at a time it could use a boost.

http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2014/11/10/indias-brinkmanship-at-wto-hurts-it-at-apec/
Riaz Haq said…
Anon: "Keeping in view our privacy and right of not share our personal information publically"

Have you asked Wall Street Journal to remove it? That's the source of the comment here.

Popular posts from this blog

China Sees Opportunity Where Others See Risk

Smartphones For Digital & Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

Economic Comparison Between Bangladesh & Pakistan